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Gordon Shedden: “Everybody has to be pushing flat-out”

With a record eight drivers going for the coveted British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) drivers’ crown this year, Honda Yuasa Racing’s Gordon Shedden is in a prime position to secure not only back-to-back titles, but equal team mate Matt Neal’s current tally.

With just 11 points between himself and current leader Sam Tordoff, the Scot says that the Brands Hatch venue is “awesome for a title showdown.”

“I’ve had some great results there in the past, and hopefully the positive memories of last year will spur me on. It’s going to be an interesting weekend, that’s for sure,” explained the 37-year-old, who is the only driver to secure four wins in what has been a record-breaking season.

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“Usually when you get to this stage of proceedings, you’d realistically say there are two or three drivers who could be champion but this year there are twice as many – at least!

“That means nobody can afford to sit back and just collect points – everybody has to be pushing flat-out, and it’s going to require an absolutely stellar weekend to get the job done.”

In previous seasons, it has come down to the wire for titles to be decided, and the Scot says it may even come down to the final race on Sunday for an actual winner to be decided, as he remembers to when he secured his first title back in 2012.

“I remember when I first went into a BTCC title-decider, no matter how much you say you’re feeling chilled and relaxed and have it all under control, the pressure of the situation still has an effect and you instinctively tighten up a bit.

“So hopefully the experience Matt and I have will play in our favour and we also know we will support each other should the need arise. Ultimately – and regardless of personal aspirations – the goal is to get a Civic Type R over the finish line first.”

The battle for both the Teams and Manufacturers’ standings will also be hotly contested between Halfords Yuasa Racing and Dick Bennetts’ West Surrey Racing, with the latter leading the way by 12 and 34 points respectively.

However with WSR having three drivers in the field, it could prove to be a tall ask for both Neal and Shedden to usurp the team that has taken all three titles in 2009 and 2014 respectively, unless a significant game changer unfolds on the final weekend of the season.

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